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The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability Paperback – May 1, 2009
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"[Vegetarian Myth] is one of the most important books people, masses of them, can read, as we try with all our might, intelligence, skill, hope, dream , and memory, to turn the disastrous course the planet is on." Alice Walker, prize-winning author, The Color Purple
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Top customer reviews
Keith says carbon-13 is a stable isotope of carbon. The reviewer talks about what "carbon-13 breaks down into" (direct quote from review as of this date). Look this up in any nuclear physics or engineering textbook: carbon 13 is stable and doesn't break down. Keith is correct, the reviewer is mistaken.
The reviewer ridicules the idea of evaluating "scratch marks" on ancient teeth. In fact, a number of scholars have done just that. For example, Dominy, et. al., in "Mechanical Properties of Plant Underground Storage Organs and Implications for Dietary Models of Early Hominins", from the peer reviewed journal Evolutionary Biology, 16 April 2008, talks about evaluating the diets of paranthropus and australopithecus - the latter are thought to be our ancestors from about 3 million years ago - based on "dental microwear", which is fancy wording for scratch marks on teeth. Looks like Keith was right and the review was wrong again.
Now let's look at the issue of C3 versus C4. These are not, as the reviewer would have it, "breakdown products" of Carbon-13; rather, they are different metabolic pathways for photosynthesis in plants. The different pathways result in the accumulation of different proportions of carbon 12 and carbon 13; as Keith says, the proportions of these and other isotopes can be used to get an idea of the diet of ancient human ancestors - see, for example, Sponheimer and Lee-Thorp, "Isotopic Evidence for the Diet of an Early Hominid, Australopithecus africanus", from Science, 15 January 1999. Keith does simplify since she is writing a popular book rather than a scientific paper, but she gets the gist of the issue right, unlike the reviewer.
The bottom line seems to be that Lierre Keith was basing her positions on facts that the reviewer was not yet aware of. One could hope they'll be included later in the reviewer's PhD program, before she gets her degree."
If the species is to make it through the ecological crisis, it will be partly because local communities became sustainable--and not because of this falsely idealistic globalized system, with its land-destroying agriculture system that commits large areas to annual mono-cultures with blatant disregard for biodiversity.
The relationship of animals to the land is vital and was sustained for many thousands of years in the presence of modern humans but without human domination. They were hunter-gatherers. With modern agriculture, however, came the diseases most responsible for the major causes of death today.
If humans can achieve sustainability again, they will need Lierre Keith's research and insights to succeed.
Most recent customer reviews
Tons of research-level material but boring and it's easy to lose interest. It's also not easy to deduct what is right to eat from the non-vegan universe of...Read more